Ah, what a weekend! There’s really nothing like a good, old fashioned neighborhood walk to soothe one’s soul! Whenever I get nervous about the election, I schedule some time to walk and I feel so much better afterwards.
And you know what else? I also helped two very special people in their efforts to get elected and clean up the mess left behind by the rabid radical right. Our communities and our government are in need of real change, so I figured it would be worthwhile to pay a visit to the place that may just be the epicenter of the current political battle over Orange County.
Believe it or not, I had nothing to do with that photo on the top… Other than I took that picture. If anything, it represents to me the bitter ideological, cultural, economic, and ethnic divide currently plaguing Costa Mesa. In case you haven’t noticed, the radical right Republican city council majority has persued a pro-Minutemen, anti-immigrant agenda that’s not only hurt undocumented immigrants, but everyone. They’ve shut down the social services that used to help the working poor on the west side of town, they’re now trying to throw out the current residents if the west side to make room for big developers as they try to remake this part of town into “Newport North”, and they’re trying to meld the city’s police and the federal ICE office as they forsake the regular duties of city government to become the great anti-immigration force of Southern California.
This is where Katrina Foley steps in. She’s one of only two council members who is not part of the radical right agenda. She’s actually worked to strengthen communities in Costa Mesa and improve the quality of life in this city. That’s why it’s critical for her to be reelected this year, so that we still have a powerful voice of reason in Costa Mesa and we can hopefully sow the seeds of positive change in the near future.
What’s also critical is that we change our federal representation. It’s bad enough that cities in the 46th District like Costa Mesa have some lousy local government officials. What makes things worse, however, is that Dana Rohrabacher never does anything to help the communities he’s supposed to serve. Because he doesn’t believe in making the federal government more effective, Dana never works to bring home the resources our local communities need to stay safe and healthy.
That’s where Debbie Cook steps in. As a city council member in Huntington Beach, she understands our local needs. And better yet, she has a record of real results. Whether it’s safer neighborhoods, balanced budgets, better schools, or a protected coastline, Debbie Cook has worked to make it happen.
On Saturday, I walked north of 19th Street and west of Newport Blvd. People who weren’t used to someone asking for their votes were glad to see me at their door and glad to see Debbie Cook on their ballots. On Sunday, I walked south of 17th Street and east of Newport Blvd. People who are used to seeing their votes taken for granted were delighted to see my walking partner and me at their doors and ready to vote for Debbie Cook and Katrina Foley.
For far too long, the race in the 46th Congressional District was “under the radar”. But now, that’s no longer the case. In fact, Jim Dean, Chairman of Democracy for America, came here yesterday to rally the troops before we were all sent walking. I was overjoyed to see that such prominent national organizations like DFA are now investing in the race. Oh yes, and I had to laugh when Jim Dean told us about the Californians he encountered in Las Vegas the previous day that he told to come back here to help Debbie Cook!
You know, Jim Dean is right. While there’s plenty we can do to help Barack Obama in the swing states, let’s not forget about our local races here in OC. Debbie Cook needs our help. Katrina Foley needs our help. Before we go off and save the rest of America, let’s first make sure we take care of business here.